President Arroyo presents a presidential citation to the world bowling champion Rafael 'Paeng' Nepomuceno, conferring on him the Order of Lakandula with the Special Class of Champion for Life (Photo/OPS).
It was awarded to Nepomuceno in simple rites during his courtesy call at Malacanang Palace's Music Room, Thursday. He presented to the Chief Executive the trophy he won in the South Pacific Classic in Melbouorne, Australia last October 2007.
The South Pacific Classic is Australia's most prestigious annual tournament which Nepomuceno first won in 1984, the first non-Australian to win the tournament. "Now, 23 years later, and having won it again, I am the first non-Australian to have won the tournament two times," Nepomuceno told the President.
"Congratulations, the Filipino people are very proud of you," the President replied, citing his extraordinary contribution to Philippine sports and his outstanding achievements in bowling competitions.
and you are right Madam President! We sure are proud of Mr. Paeng Nepomuceno for his extraordinary achievement.
The Champion for Life honors was created by the President to give credit and recognition to the Filipinos who have attained outstanding achievements in international sports, beauty and similar fields of competition, fostering extraordinary national pride and inspiration toward excellence. Those who received similar outstanding citations from the Chief Executive were boxing hero Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao, Miss International beauty queen Precious Lara Quigaman, billiards king Efren "Bata" Reyes, and Mount Everest conquerors Romy Garduce, Leo Oracion and Pastor Emata.
Recently, Nepomuceno was declared by both houses of Congress as the "Best Filipino Athlete of All Time" for his six prestigious world bowling championships, making him an international bowling Hall of Famer. Nepomuceno is listed in the Guiness Book of World Records as having won the most number of World Cups and has recently been designated Ambassador of Goodwill by the United Nations last July 11. In addition to his long list of well-known achievements as a world champion in three decades, Nepomuceno truly has been and continues to be an extraordinary ambassador for Filipino sports. He is the only bowler who had received the prestigious International Olympic Committee (POC) President's Trophy and was the first to be enshrined in the International Bowling Hall of Fame in St. Louis, Missouri in 1993. In November 1999, the Federation Internationale des Quilleurs (FIQ) named Paeng as the "International Bowling Athlete of the Millennium."
- Pacific News Center International
Mike Cohen, Pacific News Center Correspondent 04.JAN.08